On January 9th, 2017 I turn 24 years old. I have never been a fan of celebrating my birthday but now I finally found a reason to honor the occasion. For my birthday I would love to combine my love of travel and fighting social injustices by going to Flint, MI. Although major new coverage has pretty much stopped reporting on the current Water Crisis in Flint it pains me to say that the city still does not have clean water. Therefore I want to spend my birthday bringing awareness and starting my journey of becoming a long term advocate for the residents of Flint. This trip will be the first of several initiatives of traveling the country bringing awareness to several of the modern day man-made injustices against humanity. Helping with this initiative is:
Nancy Metayer is an environmentalist, water advocate, and humanitarian. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from Florida A&M University. After analyzing her career goals, she decided to pursue a Masters of Health Science degree in Environmental Health Sciences from John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Nancy has always been intrigued about water quality and its impact on public health, and is determined to encourage others to feel the same way.
Bertisha Combs is an activist and community organizer. She has participated in several campaigns seeking social justice in Broward. Particularly, in the case of Jermaine McBean she played a leading role in organizing an art exhibit at the African American Research Library in Sistrunk. Jermaine McBean was a man who was killed by a Broward County Sheriff police officer while walking home with an unloaded air rifle (BB gun) in 2013. She helped coordinate with the family and lawyer of the McBean family to bring awareness to South Florida about one of Broward’s grave injustice: Police Brutality/Violence.
Vision: Becoming long-term advocates for the victims of the biggest modern day injustices against humanity
Mission: Inspiring others that trips can be just as much as a vacation as it is impactful in changing communities
1. Goal #1: Inspire public schools in the 2nd, 5th-7th ward in Flint, MI to eradicate suspensions and replace suspensions with restorative justice.
- Why? Children have been exposed to lead pipelines over the past two years. This exposure has caused irreversible damage that results in behavioral problems, developmental challenges and other serious health problems.
- Instead of addressing the root of the problem, Flint MI has a higher rate suspensions for students.
- In era where we have graduated from spanking kids in school this is a great opportunity to address the evolution of how we handle conflict at schools
2. Goal #2: Deliver bottled water to the most disadvantaged people in Flint to build relationships and share their stories of their experiences dealing with this water crisis
- Why? Most times these community members do not have the resources to travel to a water distribution center to get the necessary clean water needed bathe, cook and clean.
- Most times our extended neighbors feel forgotten and unloved and our initiative is to bring compassion back into the community.
3. Goal #3: Facilitate Several Mini Community Healing Circle in Flint Michigan where residents of Flint will share their stories on how the water crisis is still affecting them and their families.
- Why? Healing does not happen in isolation and it does not happen all at once. The goal is to inspire and empower these community conversations to happen on a frequent basis.
- The goal is to share these stories on a mass scale!
What are the trip dates?: January 5th, 2017 - January 10th, 2017